Monday, May 11, 2009

Using Durable Advertising to Bring In New Business

The Return On Investment for traditional advertising like newspaper and magazine ads, radio and TV ads and even online ads is continuing to spiral downward. Your adds are heard and seen by an increasingly smaller and fragmented audience who is paying less and less attention to commercials. So what form of advertising is gaining ground? Durable advertising - especially logoed apparel. The prices are much less than print ads and electronic media but the audience is huge and responsive.
Here is a great story about using embroidered caps to promote your business. A client in the landscaping business had been seeing a slow erosion in his client base. Many old customers had sold their homes, some were canceling service because of the tight economy and worst of all his number of referrals had shrunk to practically zero. He had spent more on yellow page ads this year but was getting fewer calls. He felt like he couldn't afford to spend any more on print ads because he was seeing such a poor response. About this time I spoke to him about doing some new t-shirts for his crews.
Knowing the importance of keeping his employees looking professional he had been ordering t-shirts and caps for his work crews for several years. While I was helping him with that order I asked how business was and got the sad story you just read. I suggested that he try using durable advertising to boost business. At first he objected with the fact that he couldn't afford any more advertising. As tactfully as I could I pointed out that without new clients his business was eroding and that what he couldn't afford was ineffective advertising. Willing to try something new, we settled on a embroidered cap promotion for his existing customers. The "hats off to our customers" program involved a thank you letter to 144 of his customers, a nice embroidered cap (style #2100) and a request for referral card with return postage. Not only did we provide the caps but we helped him with the letter and referral request.
Unlike with print and radio ads the results were quick. In the first week the postcards began to trickle in. Did all 144 customers send him referrals? No, not even most of them but by the end of the month he had over 30 new leads, all of which were warm contacts referred by a happy customer.
At Arizona Cap we don't just sell you shirts and caps. We show you how to use those items to build your business or charity and benefit your community. If you need help with a marketing project let us know. Tell us who your market is and what your goal is and we'll show you how to use durable advertising products and apparel to achieve it.

Star Trek Prom?

OK, this post is not really about durable advertising but I had to share this, and it does teach us a lesson about change. Last week we took an order for a couple dozen hooded sweatshirts for a group of kids going to their high school prom together. That's not unusual. We do jobs like that every prom and graduation season. What floored me was the artwork - A Star Trek theme! Star Trek fonts and a Vulcan hand salute. Here is the real kicker... It was a girl who ordered these! Yes, geeks of the world unite. Come up out of your basements. Put your 12 sided dice away and get a date for prom. Star Trek is actually COOL now. I guess if you are looking for a business lesson in this it's that times change. What worked 5 years ago may not be working today. Mass media and print advertising that brought you customers three years ago is not giving you the ROI today. It's time to put durable advertising products to work for you. And although I never thought I would hear the words Star Trek and Prom in the same sentence the world is changing.